It’s a story that the media has heard far too often, the upper-tiers of government have cut back on funding to municipalities and less and less money is coming down from the higher levels of government to help cover local costs. Examples include solar energy retrofit projects and dwindling support for decaying infrastructure.
Both Scugog and Uxbridge Townships have remained hopeful, tightened their belts, and pursued grants and cost-sharing opportunities, offered by the Province and Federal government - only to be denied time and time again.
To add insult to injury, Scugog Township recently received a letter from Provincial grant authorities stating that they aren’t qualified for funding to fix their roads, because the Township ‘has too much money.’
In this day and age, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Problem economic sectors and bankrupt cities will see millions in federal booster monies, while the smart-spending municipalities seem left out in cold, because they can afford to enter into some debt.
Truthfully, there are rainy day funds tucked away in reserves, but increasing costs are forcing councillors to consider digging deep into money stashed away, hiking taxes, or leaving urgent infrastructure projects to crumble even further. There is no good option.
Scugog and Uxbridge could choose to bite the bullet, spend what cash they have on hand, and hopefully qualify for a grant once they don’t have any money of their own left - but is gambling on an approval really the best way to handle your tax dollars?